Verify insurance on the Internet

In addition to using the Internet to handle patient registrations, consider using it for insurance validation. One insurance company recently said it cost 25 cents per transaction over the Internet to verify insurance. The cost doubles to 50 cents with a point of service (POS) machine, and it costs $4 for phone verification by a "real person."

It’s easy to see why managed care companies want you to go to their Web sites to check eligibility online—it’s cheaper for them. You can get a good deal with Internet verification, too. But if you don’t have high-speed Internet access at your front desk or billing office computers, you’re not ready for Internet verification.

Pros and cons
Unfortunately, some practices don’t have a dedicated phone line for Internet access, much less have access on all necessary computers in the office. And even if they did, without high-speed access, they can’t make Internet insurance verification pay off. “With a dialup connection, insurance verification on the Internet is slow,” says Boston-area pediatrician David Chung, MD, FAAP.

On the other hand, POS machines do have benefits over Internet verification, For example, on the Internet, you must carefully input the number—one transposition and it doesn’t work. POS machines, by contrast, involve a mere swipe of the card.

This nugget was adapted from Customer Service for Successful Medical Practice, from Advisory Publications, a division of HCPro, Inc. To order, click here or call our Customer Service Department at 800/650-6787 for more information

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